The old Solano County Courthouse in Fairfield is shown in this Daily Republic file photo. (Robinson Kuntz/Daily Republic)

The old Solano County Courthouse in Fairfield is shown in this Daily Republic file photo. (Robinson Kuntz/Daily Republic)


Ceremony set for start of Solano courthouse project

By From page A3 | March 13, 2013

FAIRFIELD — Two days after lamenting funding cuts to the state courts, California Supreme Court Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye will be in Fairfield on Wednesday to break ground on a $27.5 million construction project that will result in three new courtrooms.

A groundbreaking ceremony at 3 p.m. will commemorate the long-awaited start of renovations to the Old Solano Courthouse on Texas Street. The ceremony is scheduled to include remarks by Cantil-Sakauye, Presiding Judge Paul L. Beeman, California State Sens. Lois Wolk and Noreen Evans, California State Assemblyman Jim Frazier and Solano County Board of Supervisors Chairwoman Linda Seifert.

Cantil-Sakauye told a joint session of the Legislature on Monday in her “state of the judiciary” report that the state may be “on the wrong side of history in funding justice” and that not reinvesting in the judiciary will result in further cuts in services to the public from the courts.

The Fairfield renovation will restore the historic building with complete seismic, mechanical, electrical, life safety, plumbing, telecommunications and accessibility upgrades. The San Francisco-based architectural firm of Hornberger + Worstell, recognized for its achievements in restoration and modernization of historic structures, designed the renovation plans. The Old Solano Courthouse is the first project funded by Senate Bill 1407 to go into construction.

Completion is scheduled for summer 2014, after which the court will use the building for civil cases. For more information, visit the California court’s website at www.courts.ca.gov/facilities-solano.htm.

Earlier this year, the local courts cut back the closing time for public service counters from 3 p.m. to 2 p.m. During the current fiscal year, the courts have also had 12 employee furlough days.

Reach Jess Sullivan at 427-6919 or [email protected] Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/jsullivandr.

At a glance

  • What: The event celebrates the culmination of more than 11 years of planning for renovations to the Old Solano Courthouse. Designed by architect E.C. Hemmings, the historic courthouse is considered an outstanding example of Beaux Arts architecture, with its flat roof and expansive exterior colonnades. The 1911 building served as a functioning courthouse until the 1970s, but has been vacant since 2005.
  • When: 3 to 4 p.m. Wednesday
  • Where: Old Solano Courthouse Stairs, 580 W. Texas St., Fairfield.

Jess Sullivan

Jess has covered the criminal justice system in Solano County for several years. He was an embedded reporter in Iraq in 2003.

Discussion | 2 comments

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  • George Guynn, JrMarch 13, 2013 - 10:15 am

    Speaking of justice, when can we expect payback on the half-billion dollars lost on the court and dmv computer program that didn't work? There should be people in jail for this!!! This doesn't appear to be justice to me till someone other than the taxpayer pays for the mistakes.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • A Different PerspectiveMarch 13, 2013 - 4:12 pm

    Making a poor decision isn't illegal. If it were, that what be "big and onerous government" which seems to be something you typically oppose.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
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